Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Instagram for iOS 7

From the Instagram blog:

In this update you will find that we’ve increased the size of photos and videos in your feed so that they expand to the edges of your screen. We’re also happy to say that increased size means increased resolution, so photos and videos will be clearer and more vibrant than ever.

This, I like. The edge-to-edge photos are excellent, though it does mean that the 612 × 612 pixel photos will be expanded to fit the 640 pixel wide display of the iPhone. Instagram says that they’ve increased the resolution of the photos, but this photo, posted with the updated version, is at the old 612-pixel resolution. A little bit of URL hacking (replacing the _7 at the end with _5 or _6) reveals thumbnail-sized copies, but nothing larger than 612 pixels wide. Very curious.

This update also feels incomplete. I appreciate the revised profile and timeline views: both look fantastic, and are complementary to the iOS 7 aesthetic. But the camera view hasn’t been updated, and comparatively feels very heavy. Worse still is the icon, which is a relic of the days of iOS 5. I love Instagram, but I have always disliked that icon.